Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Hissy Fit

OK, so I didn't come back the next day....

Anyhoo, here is the finished snake - Hissy Fit. You might remember (or not!) that this is an entry for the annual Knitting and Crochet Guild competition. Each year we raise money for a different part of the bulding at Lee Mills, which houses our antique textiles collection. The theme this year is 'Weatherproofing the Roof'. We're being asked to make an item of headgear - the more impractical, the better!

The winners are announced at the AGM in May. All the entries will then be exhibited and (we hope) sold on the Guild stands at shows like Harrogate and Alexandra Palace.

The colours are a little brighter on the real item - it's a variegated pastel cotton held together with a metallic thread.

It's actually held onto the head with pins, but only because the polystyrene is slippery - real people can use hairgrips! There's a pipecleaner in the head, so that it can be posed.

The other oddity I've designed and made recently is my house:

My local branch of the Knitting and Crochet Guild is putting up a display in the library where we meet, and then transferring it to the Textile Gallery of Sunderland Art Gallery, where we Knit In Public once a month. We decided to create a row of houses and gardens, with a wood next to it, and some 3D figures standing in front of it.

The house is A4 sized, with cobweb lace curtains and fanlight, flower buttons in the windowboxes, and a DMC button of two cats on the doorstep! It's all knitted except for the crocheted drainpipe. It was such good fun to design and make :)

I may be absent for another few days now - I'm going to the cinema tomorrow, for the first time in about four years. I love the cinema, and I've really missed it. Richard, Paul and I are going to see 'Constantine', the new Keanu Reeves thing. I'll post a review soon!

Monday, March 21, 2005

It's photo time!

Yes, yes, faithful reader, I am still here. The last two weeks have been fairly rough, so I've been knitting and answering the odd e-mail, and not much else. I'll spread my report of the interesting bits over the next few days, so that I don't overwhelm you with too much excitement at once :)

First and foremost: it's photo time! Yes, Linda's Surprise Top has now been delivered and raved over, so I am at last at liberty to show you what it is. It's...

Sailor Top

a Sailor Top! Linda is a big fan of Sailor (remember 'Girls, Girls, Girls'? 'Glass of Champagne'? No? Suit yourself... Whaddya mean, you're too young??), and usually wears a navy-and-white T-shirt to their gigs, together with a rather jaunty sailor hat. I thought she might like a 'real' sailor top, too. (Actually, in this picture it hasn't been washed or pressed, so it looked better than this afterwards!)

I've got photos of the nummy yarn scarf, too:

Nummy Yarn!

Obviously this is only one end of it, but it really shows how the colours work together within the Feather-and-Fan pattern.

This is an extreme close-up that really demonstrates how glowing the colours are. I have never worked with wool like this before.

Extreme Close-Up

More tomorrow - the snake and perhaps the house...

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Sssscaled to Fit

I really need a digital camera! I haven't bothered as Paul and Richard are such experts with theirs; but it would be really handy for times like this, when I have a fabulous FO and no one around to photograph it......

Anyway, as you will eventually see, I have finished my entry to this year's Knitting and Crochet Guild fundraising competition. As this year's profit is going towards fixing the roof at Lee Mills, where we house the Collection, it's called Weatherproofing the Roof. The spec is 'anything you can wear on your head - not necessarily a hat!'.

So I made a snake.

It looks good, too - I'm really proud of it! I used 4mm dpns, 6 sts per row, and a strand each of multicoloured crochet cotton and silver thread, and made a 130cm I-cord. I sewed up the tail end into a ball shape to give a bit of weight to that end, then sewed the head end into a point. I'd put a pipe cleaner into the head end, to allow it to be posed, and sewed on two iridescent beads as eyes.

The problem arose when I tried to display it on my polystyrene wig block. It is too smooth to 'grab' the yarn, so I've had to pin the snake in place round the neck, round the head and up to the crown where the snake head rears up. I hope people with hair will be able to use bobby pins instead!

Richard suggested I make one blue and one pink, and label them Hissss and Hers.....

Talking of jokes (well, almost!), I visted Mary Anne's blog after she left a comment, and found a great link to a page full of knitting humour. View it here - it's a super selection!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Clawing my way back

Yes, faithful readers, I am still here - I had to take a few days offline to rest up before the Pins 'n' Needles show, and then a few days afterwards recovering. But it was worth it!!

I was a little disappointed by the small number of yarn stalls, and I could have had a major sulk that the Spinners, Dyers and Weavers group wasn't selling any of their wool - the colours were *gorgeous*, and the spinning and plying were beautiful.

However, I still ended up with two large balls of very fine red stuff with coloured speckles in it, a ball of Sirdar Funky Fur Magic, two balls of Sirdar Dune in white, two balls of Sirdar Foxy in brown (Paul suggested putting two googly eyes on them and selling them as guinea pigs...), a ball of Rowan Biggy in dusky pink, and some small flower-shaped buttons to go into the window-boxes of the house I have to knit. More of that later...

I spent the afternoon on the Knitting and Crochet Guild stall, which was absolutely inundated with customers. I was working on a snood, using Colinette Silkychic on circular needles , and I got so many lovely comments about it that I could have got quite big-headed! The best comment, though, was from a lady and her friend who described my continental style of knitting as 'knitting backside forrard'. I thought that was absolutely brilliant!

I have finally sent off Linda's top, so I hope to be able to post the photos of it very soon. I have been producing items like there's no tomorrow ever since. I think it's a reaction to finishing a large item - I want to whizz through several small items just for the gratification of having something finished :)

In the past week I haven't been able to do much, but I have been able to do garter stitch. I have finished:
  • my snood (it's a long tube which put on over your head. It keeps your neck warm, but if you pull up the back edge over your head, it also forms a kind of hood. It's a rotten description, but the best I can manage!);
  • another neck pillow for Paul's mother (she is too short for the headrest in the car!); and
  • another of the beanies I designed for Paul.

I am hoping to submit the beanie to one of the knitting magazines, along with a couple of other patterns. I did get rejected by 'Big Girls' Knits', but I am undaunted!

Oh, yes - the house. I nearly forgot. Our local branch of the K&CG is mounting a display in the library where we meet, and then transferring it to the textiles section of the Art Gallery, where we hold our Knit-Ins. Diane, who leads our group, suggested a 'Homes and Gardens' theme. She has bravely offered to do all the backgrounds, while each of us takes on a house, garden, or group of people.

I have opted for a house (number 2), which I have finished designing but have not yet started to knit. It's only a two-dimensional piece, and it's A4-sized , so it shouldn't take very long. I wanted flower-filled window-boxes to make it look cheerful, which is why I bought the buttons mentioned above - it's much less fuss than trying to knit very small flowers!

I'll also be able to use my new-found skill of cobweb lace (thanks to Mandy!) in making little net curtains for the windows. As usual, photos will follow. I really must buy myself a digital camera...

Finally a quick hello to a new reader. I am always delighted to find comments from people other than my immediate friends, and even more delighted to find myself on somebody else's list of favourite blogs - so hello to the Scarf Lady! Hers is a very new blog, but do pop across and have a look at it.